Loyola Marymount University (LMU) in Los Angeles (USA), a premier Roman Catholic university rooted in the Jesuit and Marymount traditions, is offering Certificate Program in Yoga Philosophy.
It includes study of classical yoga, various schools of Hinduism, Sanskrit, mantra chanting, Yoga Sutra of Patanjali, meditation, Samkhya Karika, hatha yoga, tantra, Kashmir Shaivism, moksha, Upanishads, Bhagavad-Gita, etc. Dr. John Casey and Dr. Christopher Key Chapple are the main instructors besides various guest lecturers who are experts in their respective fields.
Welcoming the LMU’s interest in yoga, Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, said that although introduced and nourished by Hinduism, yoga was a world heritage and liberation powerhouse to be utilized by all. One could still practice one’s respective faith and do yoga. Yoga would rather help one in achieving one’s spiritual goals in whatever religion one believed in.
Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, further said that yoga, referred as “a living fossil” whose traces went back to around 2,000 BCE to Indus Valley civilization, was a mental and physical discipline handed down from one guru to next, for everybody to share and benefit from. According to Patanjali who codified it in Yoga Sutra, yoga was a methodical effort to attain perfection, through the control of the different elements of human nature, physical and psychical. Yoga was based on an eightfold path to direct the practitioner from awareness of the external world to a focus on the inner, Zed added.
Rajan Zed argued that yoga, which never had any formal organization, was the repository of something basic in the human soul and psyche. According to an estimate, about 16 million Americans, including many celebrities, now practice yoga.
Founded in 1911, LMU, which enrolls over 9,000 students, is the largest Catholic university on the West Coast of USA. Its mission includes “the education of the whole person” and its sponsoring religious orders are: Society of Jesus (Jesuits) and Religious of the Sacred Heart of Mary. It offers 40 masters and doctoral degrees besides 113 programs, yearly undergraduate tuition is $36,404, and David W. Burcham is the President.